Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Progress On The Green Scarf

Last week, I mentioned a scarf I'd started knitting with the Lanitium ex Machina yarn I won a while back. Yesterday, Rick and I drove to Windsor to pick up some car parts for his dad. I brought my knitting along so I could make some progress.
Even though I used a filter on Instagram, the colours in this are pretty accurate. It's a pretty simple pattern using YO and k2tog all the way through. Right now, it measures about 28 inches long and 6 inches wide. I know it will grow after blocking.
Speaking of blocking, I have a set of blocking wires and pins in my shopping cart on Amazon. I'm waiting to have enough in gift cards to order those and the few other things Rick and I are coveting. I was going to get some from KnitPicks with my next order, but the gift cards I collect will essentially make them free from Amazon! And free is my favourite price.
In other fun news, I'm in the process of reading the entirety of the KnitQuest and Tiny Owl Knits blogs. They make for good reading when working on this scarf, or one of the other two projects I have on the go. Are there any blogs you've read from beginning to end? I like to have something easy to read when knitting, and blogs seem to do the trick.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sunday Funday with Rick!

This week, I somehow managed to have three consecutive days off: Sunday through till tomorrow. I don't know how it happened, but I'll take it! I'm taking a chance on a different type of blog post, so I hope you like it. I'm planning on branching out from just knitting and including more of my day to day life on here. This post is a little longer than I expected it to be, I promise this won't be a theme in the future.
Yesterday, Rick wasn't feeling well, so we were expecting to have a quiet day at home. Early in the afternoon, he started feeling better, and wanted to go for sushi. The local place charges an insane amount on the weekend for all you can eat, unfortunately. The lunch price is eliminated, and we'd have to pay the dinner price, and only be able to choose from the limited lunch menu. Not cool, as we'd be missing out on some of our favourite things. We didn't want to make a trip into Windsor for just sushi, as good as it is. Rick then suggested Vietnamese. I called them up, and found out the local Pho place is still closed for renovations, so that was also a no. They are reopening Thursday, so we will definitely be giving them a visit soon. I thought tacos would be a good idea, but being Sunday afternoon, many of the migrant workers are at the authentic Mexican restaurant, and Rick wasn't feeling the loudness that comes with that. We thought about it a little while, and I suggested a pretty sweet place called The Main Grill and Ale House. They have some pretty phenomenal dishes, and are well priced for the high quality food you end up with.

Deep Fried Pickles
We ended up choosing two appetizers and two entrées. The first was deep fried pickles. They're breaded with pretzels, and have a beer/mustard dipping sauce. They were alright, but I've never had fried pickles before (How? I love pickles, and fried things, no idea how I haven't combined those two loves before this) so I don't have anything to compare them to. Not sure if we'll get these again, but I am glad I tried them.
The second app was pulled pork poutine. Now, if you don't know what poutine is, you are seriously missing out. A traditional Québecois poutine is french fries, fresh cheese curds and gravy.
Pulled Pork Poutine
Recently, poutines have become somewhat trendy especially locally (there is a poutine restaurant in Windsor), and pulled pork is a common variation. This one was made with seasoned waffle fries, pulled pork in a yummy sauce, and shredded cheese. I can forgive the shredded cheese because it was fully melted, and the whole dish was absolutely delicious. From the first bite, we were both super happy we ordered this version, instead of the plain one. The only downside to this is that it's not a huge portion, and it left us both wanting more.
For the entrées, we both chose perch, done in different ways. Rick chose perch and chips, and I picked a perch po'boy. I know Rick enjoyed his, as he gobbled it up fairly quickly, and left just a few chips that I brought home.
Perch and Chips
As for me, I'd eaten not long before we went out. Our day hadn't initially included going out to eat, so I made myself a bowl of soup. I regretted that as soon as I got my plate. The sandwich was on the softest baguette I'd ever had. It was toasted just enough to add some crusty crispness to the cut side of it. There was also some of the house coleslaw on it, which really made the dish fantastic. I ate half of it, and brought the rest home. I got a house salad with it, just to mix it up from my usual fries, and I was super impressed with how it looked. I didn't eat a bite of it, as I was completely full by this time. The salad came with some raspberry vinaigrette, which I think I will really enjoy.
Perch Po'boy
Overall, The Main was definitely a fantastic choice. Our server did a fantastic job, stopping by the table often enough to refill my drink, but not so often that we were annoyed.  I can't wait to go back.
After lunch, we went on a nice county drive. We stopped at a beach, and Winston and I dipped our toes in the water. He's never been to a beach in his whole 2 years, and he did fairly well, considering he's scared of practically everything. Terrified at first, after a couple minutes, he only tried to run when there was a wave breaking. His tail was wagging by the end of it.
We continued up the road past some really interesting houses, farms, and more beaches. Living in Essex County is awesome, so many cool things to see, places to go, and food to eat, and. Rick pointed out our favourite apple orchard, Delhaven. We've stopped there a couple times, and I was a little bummed they were closed. I think we'll be making a special trip there soon. Our final stop of the day was Manitree Fruit Farms. We picked up a container of peaches there. I have already eaten two of them.
Overall, Sunday was a great day spent with Rick and Winston. I can't wait till the next day we can spend exploring our beautiful area.
If you've stuck through till the end of this verbose post, please let me know what you thought of it!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Awesome Thursday: July 26, 2012

It's Thursday, and that means it's time for me to tell you about the awesome things going on in my life.

  • I finally got over the knitting trouble I was having a couple days ago, and managed to get a project going. I'm using the Soul Music yarn I got from Lanitium ex Machina last year, (the first one I show in the video) and I LOVE it. It's a wool/bamboo/silk blend, and the colours are gorgeous. It's a pattern of my own design (really simple!!!) and I will post photos of it as soon as I take some in decent lighting.
  • The new manager is super nice. Really laid back, and generally just a good guy. I'm excited to work with him.
  • I got $15 in Amazon cards this week. I redeemed $5 from SwagBucks, and $10 from SuperPoints. (There are referral links in each of those, so if you do sign up through them, I get a little back.) I'm super stoked, as I am saving up my money on there to buy some knitting related things, and some dried coconut chunks.
  • It's cool and rainy today, my favourite kind of weather. The only downside is that I can't bike to work.
What sorts of great things are going on in your lives?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What a Knitting Podcast Sounds Like To A Non-Knitter

Lately, I've been listening to a lot of knitting podcasts. Rick comments on them occasionally, asking if I'd already listened to that episode, as he remembers such and such a podcaster having already mentioned such and such a project or yarn. He then explained to me exactly what knitting podcasts sound like to him, a non-knitter.

Week one: Hey guys welcome to the podcast, this week I worked on a knitting project. It's fuzzy, it's furry and it's soft.
Week two: Hey guys welcome to the podcast, this week I worked on a knitting project. It's red. It's fuzzy, it's furry and it's soft.
Week three: Hey guys welcome to the podcast, this week I worked on a knitting project. It's red. It's fuzzy, it's furry and it's soft. And it's almost done.
Week four: Hey guys welcome to the podcast, this week I worked on a knitting project. It's red. It's fuzzy, it's furry and it's soft. It was delayed, because I started on a new project. It's yellow and it's a sock.
Week five: Hey guys welcome to the podcast, this week I worked on a knitting project. It's red. It's fuzzy, it's furry and it's soft. It's almost done. The yellow sock is almost done.
Week six: .............
Week twenty seven: Hey guys welcome to the podcast, this week I worked on a knitting project. Well, a bunch of knitting projects. One is red, fuzzy, furry and soft. One is the second yellow sock. One is a green shawl. One is a purple mitten. One is a simple black scarf. Shit, there are a lot of knitting projects here.
Week twenty eight: Hey guys welcome to the podcast, this week I finished a knitting project! It's a purple mitten, I just have to start the second. I still have a red fuzzy, furry, soft something, yellow sock, green shawl and black scarf on the go.

And so on and so forth.
After we laughed about this, I realized how right he really is! The same can be said about some knit-bloggers as well. I'm definitely one of those!
(Please note I do not mean to be offensive to any podcasters or knitters, I just wanted to comment on the truth that is the curse of multiplying UFOs and WIPs)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Looking for Ball Winder and Swift Suggestions!

Hey everyone! I seem to have come down with a summer cold, or I have awesome allergies. If it's the latter, this will be the first time in, oh, about 10 years that I suffer from seasonal allergies. (I had a treatment done to eliminate my allergies, and I've hardly had problems since!) Anyway, I have some questions for you fine folks.
I am looking at getting a ball winder and swift. I am starting to knit with more yarns that are put up in hanks, and I think that having these tools would be useful. I know a swift would be the first of the two to get, but I am looking for suggestions for both. I don't have any knowledge on the matter, so I have no preferences in brands/materials/sizes/whatever other options these crazy things have. I would like for them to be available on amazon, as I have amassed a small fortune in amazon gift cards. But, I am not opposed to getting them elsewhere.
In short, ball winder and swift suggestions? Thanks!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Awesome Thursday: July 19, 2012

Happy Thursday everyone! It's a little later in the day than I usually post, but I've been out and about most of the day. These are the awesome things that have gone on over the past week.

  • My cousin got married! It was quite lovely. I wore my shawl (for which I am still waiting for pictures to show you guys!) and I got quite a few compliments on it.
  • I went yarn shopping today! I picked up three beautiful skeins as well as a shawl pin, all on sale. I used an Instagram filter, so the colours are off. The green is more turquoise; it's a cotton/linen blend. The grey and magenta are mulberry silk. I will be using the latter two to make a colourwork cowl for myself. I have an idea for a pattern of my own, it's just a matter of getting down to business.
  • Rick and I went for all you can eat sushi after we went to the yarn store. We managed to not over eat this time around. Usually we get so excited that we order pretty much everything, and feel like crap after.
  • Work has been awesome, despite being told we will have a new manager next week. I really liked working with our current manager.
  • I restarted the cowl I was making out of the Eco-Fil yarn. It was a little too large in diameter, so I shrank it by 12 stitches. The yarn is so smooth and even, it's really nice to work with. I picked up quite a bit of it a few months back, and this is the first project I am making with it.
How are you doing this week? Is there anything exciting going on in your area?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

My Apologies for My Apathy

First of all, the title of this post sounds like the name of a pop-punk or indie bands sophomore album.
Anyway, you may have noticed the lack of posting the past few weeks. Since starting my job, I haven't had much time or motivation for knitting, never mind blogging about it. I finished my shawl for my cousins wedding last week, wore it to the wedding yesterday, and now I just have to wait for photos so I can blog about it properly. Other than that shawl, until today, I haven't knit a thing in I don't know how long. I've been in a bit of a funk. I'm not sure if the funk is caused by the lack of knitting, or the lack of knitting is causing the funk. Either way, I want to get out of it. I have another store that is opening up in Windsor that wants a couple of my items. It's a higher end paperie and gift store, so I am trying to figure out exactly what to make for the owner. I'm hoping to get in there and check the place out the next time we go into Windsor.
I've also let many of the listings in my Etsy shop expire, and I haven't bothered renewing them. I don't have the energy to work on the shop, work at my job, and prepare items for the upcoming craft show season. I'm already thinking a few months into the future, so that I am not caught off guard when it comes time to start signing up for shows. I have a few loose plans for items to knit, and some yarn I want to use, it's just a matter of putting them all together. I really wish I had four hands so I could knit twice as fast.
I did knit a hat for LeeLee hats today. It's made of super bright, bulky yarn, and it's helped shake this down feeling a little bit. I want to start making more hats for them, as the donations go down in the warmer weather. I also started a cowl made of some Eco-Fil yarn. This yarn is 75% recycled cotton, and 25% acrylic. It's super smooth, and nice to work with.

How are all of you fine folks doing?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Awesome Thursday: July 12, 2012

Happy Thursday, everyone! I have been a little absent lately, and I do apologize for that. Work has consumed my life, and I haven't had much time to knit. This is what has been happening in my life lately:

  • Work is still awesome! I love my job, my coworkers are great, and life is good.
  • My cousin is getting married this Saturday, and I am super excited for him and his fiancée.
  • Today is my Mom's birthday. She is camping with my Dad until tomorrow. They go camping every year for the first couple weeks of July.
  • I bought a groupon for a manicure at the salon I go to. I was hoping to get it done for the wedding this weekend, but there wasn't time for me to get in.
  • I'm going with my mother in law to get our nails done at a different salon tomorrow. I haven't had my nails done since just after high school!
Overall, life is good! How are things with all of you?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Design Journal for Knitting Rockstars: A Product Review

Recently, I received an email from Lisa Savage of Petite Tuques. She asked me if I would like to review a brand new product of hers, called The Design Journal For Knitting Rockstars. I said yes right away, as I am planning on eventually writing my own patterns. Then I forgot about it completely. I started a new job a little while back, and that knocked me on my ass. You may have noticed my lack of posting lately, that's because of the job, and how tired I am when I come home. I came across the email in my inbox again a couple days ago, and said HOLY CRAP I NEED TO TAKE A LOOK AT THIS! I opened it up, and took a peek around, and I can't wait to use it. First of all, it just looks pretty. The colours are lovely, it's laid out in a way that makes sense, and everything is there for designing your own knitting pattern. This is definitely a little kick in the pants to get cracking on creating my own pattern.

I’ve been asked to continue the blog series about Designing, so here is today’s post: 5 Tips on Hiring a Test Knitter

Once you have finished writing up your pattern, it would be a good idea to get it test knitted. This process helps with finding mistakes in your written pattern and any inconsistencies or errors.
1. Word of Mouth is a great start to finding people who will test knit. This includes social media sites. Ask around on facebook, twitter, and ravelry.
2. Leave an Ad at your local knitting shop with your name and number. Local knitters love to be involved with a local designer.
3. Interview your potential candidates. Make certain you and the candidate understands what is to be done and in what time frame. Ask for previous work experience. If applicable, ask for a sample of a finished piece.
4. There is no set fee structure for the industry, but most test knitters will accept to be paid in yarn or patterns. It really depends on the pattern difficulty and whether the knitter will have to buy all the necessary yarn and needles to complete the project.
5. Once you've selected your test knitter and you've both agreed on the service to be provided, be sure to make a clear and detailed contract that outlines the payment agreement and is clear with the expectations of both parties . Most designers will skip this step, but once you start using more than one test knitter, it becomes easier to keep track of what everyone is doing.

Part 4 of the series is on Falling Stitches blog!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Awesome Thursday: July 5, 2012

Every Thursday, I post about the wonderful things going on in my life over the week prior. Here is what is happening with me lately:

  • I love my job! No joke, nearly every morning, I am practically skipping down the stairs to go to work.
  • Winston's ears are practically fully healed! He still has a little bit of scabbing on both of them, but they look great!
  • I'm still working on my shawl for my cousins wedding, and it's coming along nicely. I haven't taken a single photo of it yet, this will change soon. I'm thinking of putting it on the super long cable from my interchangeable needles, so I can see it full sized. I'm really hoping I can get this done soon. There's nothing like a deadline breathing down my neck to make me want to get to work on it. I've only been able to do a couple rows a day, and I figure I need to do 4-5 or more everyday to make sure it gets done with time to wash and block it and have it dry.
  • Rick and I went to the mall the other day, and I got myself a couple pairs of shorts for work for a great price. We also got him a couple cardigans at H&M for a steal. I don't shop for clothes and such often, but when I do, a deal must be had.
How are all of you?